Daily Legislative Brief from March 8, 2023
SB 102/HB 627- Relating to Housing
On Wednesday, March 8th, Senator Alexis Calatayud (R-Miami) introduced SB 102 on the Senate floor. After Senators asked questions and voted in favor of several amendments, the bill was placed on Third Reading and will be up for final passage tomorrow. Also on Wednesday, the House companion, HB 627 by Representative Demi Busatta-Cabrera (R-Coral Gables) and Vicki Lopez, (R-Miami) was heard by the House State Affairs Committee and was reported favorable by a vote of 18 yeas and 3 nays. AIF’s Legislative Assistant Tanner Warwick stood in support of this legislation.
This bill seeks to address Florida’s backlog of affordable and attainable workforce housing in the state. SB 102 will not only maintain the high level of funding for Florida’s SHIP (State Housing Initiatives Partnership) and SAIL (State Apartment Incentive Loan) programs, but it will provide additional funding for SAIL and work to increase attainable and affordable housing options for Floridians throughout the state. These programs provide long-term, sustainable access to affordable housing.
HB 627 will now go to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.
AIF supports legislation which allows for continued and more reliable access to affordable housing in underdeveloped communities. These proposals create jobs and broaden the economic impact of communities with historically low economic returns.
SB 170- Relating to Local Ordinances
On Thursday, February 23rd, SB 170 by Senator Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City) was introduced on the Senate floor. After the bill was presented and questioned, the bill was placed on the calendar for a final vote tomorrow.
SB 170 is a bill that would require counties and cities to prepare business impact statements for official review before a proposed ordinance can take effect. This is vital to securing a more free-market, business friendly, environment so businesses are protected from unnecessary, burdensome regulations. Additionally, this legislation requires a county or city to suspend an ordinance that is pending authorization by a court of law.
SB 170 will be up for a final vote in the Senate tomorrow.
AIF supports legislation which holds local governments accountable for the actions they take that can have a negative impact on businesses in their jurisdiction.
HB 837- Relating to Civil Remedies
On Wednesday, March 8th, HB 837 by Representative Tommy Gregory (R-Lakewood Ranch) was heard in the House Judiciary Committee and was reported favorable with a vote of 16 yeas and 8 nays. AIF’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs Adam Basford and AIF consultant Jessica Schmor stood in support of this legislation.
HB 837 is a bill that seeks to eliminate the cottage industry of trial lawyers and frivolous legal artists undermining the integrity of our civil justice system in Florida. This bill repeals current loopholes in our laws and court procedures that keep their cottage industry alive by addressing 5 main issue areas.
- It will institute true transparency in damages so that juries base damages awards on the true cost of medical treatment instead of inflated bills.
- For third-party bad faith claims, it will allow a 60-day notice and right to cure, affirm that mere negligence does not amount to bad faith as well as require plaintiffs and their representatives to cooperate in good faith.
- It will change Florida’s comparative negligence system so that a party who is more than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries may not recover damages.
- It will limit the use of a contingency fee multiplier for an attorney fee awards so they may only be used in rare and exceptional circumstances.
- It will repeal Florida’s one way attorney fees for all litigation.
- It will provide premises liability protection when someone is injured on a property owner’s premises by a third party conducting a criminal act.
HB 837 will now go to the House floor for consideration.
AIF supports legislation that will help eliminate unnecessary legals costs and provide much needed stability for Florida businesses and consumers. Florida has been labeled a "judicial hellhole" for far too long. Comprehensive 'tort reform' is needed to spur future investment and alleviate the concerns of those who fear the cost of doing business in Florida due to frivolous litigation.